There are 3 ways to get from Darwin to Cairns by plane, bus or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Fly  •  6 h 27 min

  1. Fly from Darwin (DRW) to Cairns (CNS) DRW - CNS

$151 - $463

2 alternative options

Bus  •  41 h 5 min

  1. Take the bus from Darwin to Tennant Creek
  2. Take the bus from Tennant Creek to Townsville
  3. Take the bus from Townsville to Cairns

$230 - $506

Drive  •  28 h 44 min

  1. Drive from Darwin to Cairns 1730.5 miles

$240 - $360

Questions & Answers

No, there is no direct bus from Darwin to Cairns. However, there are services departing from Darwin and arriving at Cairns via Tennant Creek and Townsville. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 41 h 5 min.

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The distance between Darwin and Cairns is 1679 km. The road distance is 2768.8 km.

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The best way to get from Darwin to Cairns without a car is to bus which takes 41 h 5 min and costs .

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It takes approximately 6 h 27 min to get from Darwin to Cairns, including transfers.

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Darwin to Cairns bus services, operated by Greyhound Australia, depart from Darwin station.

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The best way to get from Darwin to Cairns is to fly which takes 6 h 27 min and costs . Alternatively, you can bus, which costs and takes 41 h 5 min.

Mode details

The quickest flight from Darwin Airport to Cairns Airport is the direct flight which takes 2 h 30 min.

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Darwin to Cairns bus services, operated by Greyhound Australia, arrive at Cairns station.

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Cairns is 30 min ahead of Darwin. It is currently 7:54 PM in Darwin and 8:24 PM in Cairns.

Yes, the driving distance between Darwin to Cairns is 2769 km. It takes approximately 28 h 44 min to drive from Darwin to Cairns.

Get driving directions

Map of how to get from Darwin to Cairns.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 1049.6 miles
  • Duration: 6 h 27 min

What companies run services between Darwin, NT, Australia and Cairns, QLD, Australia?

Qantas, Jetstar and Airnorth fly from Darwin to Cairns 3 times a day. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Darwin to Cairns via Tennant Creek and Townsville in around 41 h 5 min.

Airlines
Qantas
Website
qantas.com
Flights from Darwin to Cairns
Ave. Duration
2 h 30 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $950
Flights from Darwin to Cairns via Gove
Ave. Duration
3 h 45 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$160 - $650
Flights from Darwin to Cairns via Townsville
Ave. Duration
4 h 55 min
When
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Estimated price
$160 - $650
Jetstar
Website
jetstar.com
Flights from Darwin to Cairns
Ave. Duration
2 h 30 min
When
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Estimated price
$130 - $1,100
Airnorth
Website
flyairnorth.com
Flights from Darwin to Cairns via Gove
Ave. Duration
3 h 45 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$160 - $650
Bus operators
Greyhound Australia

Greyhound Australia is the country’s only long distance bus operator running services in all states and territories. Greyhound Australia has been operating for 110 years and is the leading bus company in Australia. The extensive network now covers most of the Australian mainland and services more than 5 million passengers every year. Buses are equipped for the long journeys, with free WiFi, air-conditioning, full disability access, USB chargers in every seat and an on-board restroom.

Contact Details
Phone
1300 473946
Website
greyhound.com.au
Bus from Darwin to Tennant Creek
Ave. Duration
14 h 10 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$80 - $140
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$80 - $120
Flexifare
$100 - $140
Bus from Tennant Creek to Townsville
Ave. Duration
19 h 40 min
Frequency
Once a week
Estimated price
$120 - $220
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$120 - $180
Flexifare
$150 - $210
Bus from Townsville to Cairns
Ave. Duration
5 h 15 min
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
$28 - $150
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$28 - $40
Flexifare
$35 - $55
Premier Motor Service
Website
premierms.com.au
Bus from Townsville to Cairns Central Station
Ave. Duration
5 h 40 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$35 - $50
Schedules at
premierms.com.au

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More Questions & Answers

Jetstar, Qantas and Airnorth offer flights from Darwin Airport to Cairns Airport.

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There are 458+ hotels available in Cairns. Prices start at $70 USD per night.

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